Beauty blogger and hair expert Kristin Ess from TheBeautyDepartment shares her beauty secrets, future aspirations, and one of the craziest skincare products she's ever tried.

Restorsea: What are your current 5 must-have items rights now? (Fashion/beauty, health/fitness, food/dining, arts/culture, etc.)

Kristin Ess:
1.  A vintage vanity tray (to hold my Restorsea, obviously!) from one of the chic LA flea markets. I've always been a collector of fancy bathroom beauty pieces.

2. The new Oribe mousse, obsessed. First of all, I love all of his stuff but second, I've been  WAITING for a mousse! Also, have you tried the Apres Beach? Heaven. 

3.  Another 13 perfume. It was a collaboration between Le Labo and Another Magazine. I got the very last bottle from Barney's-- they only made 500! I became insanely OBSESSED and used it sparingly for over a year. Then the heavens opened up when they brought it back. They only sell it at Collette in Paris so you better believe I stocked up during our recent trip! Truly my #1 favorite fragrance and people will chase you down to ask what it is.

4. The new NARS foundation. It comes in a compact, which is great for a girl on the go or anyone who needs a quick touch up after work. Love!

5. The Wella conditioning mask, for post pool summer hair repair! My hair always feels so "crunchy" when I get out of the pool. Problem solved!

R: What is the craziest beauty remedy, product or service that you have tried?

K: I'm all about trying new things, but one facialist gave me a cream to put on my face that was (I'm mortified to say) made from baby foreskin. Let's just end this conversation here. Not only did I throw the sample away, I never went back to her. 

R: What was the inspiration for The Beauty Department?

K: TBD came about because we felt like the instructional how-to's that were out there were not thorough enough for a young girl seeking a beauty education. You could learn some tips and tricks, but there really weren't tutorials of people doing professional-looking hair and makeup tutorials. We wanted to reach the girl in the middle of nowhere who may not have had a big sister or mother to show her how.

R: What is your favorite local spot?

K: You can always find me at SugarFish. Always.

R: Who are your personal style and/or beauty icons?

K: Isabella Blow, Diana Vreeland and Dorothy Draper. If you don't know who they are, I encourage you to look them up and open your eyes to some of the most glamorous ladies of all time. True visionaries and my 3 greatest inspirations.

R: What would you be doing if you weren’t creating content for your site?

K: I would still be doing hair (as I do already), but in addition I would most likely go into furniture design. I have plans.

R: What are your favorite magazines or other online publications?

K: Lula Magazine, Allure, and the international issues of Elle, Vogue and Marie Claire.

R: What would your readers be surprised to find out about you?

K: I'm going to Iceland next month to creative direct a music video for one of my clients who is an incredibly gifted singer, I didn't know how to braid for the first 9 years of my career so I faked it or had an assistant do it. I have 9 brothers and sisters, and I will eventually retire outside of Portland in my dream home-- which will be built from scratch.

R: What are you most looking forward to?

K: I am most looking forward to the reorganization and optimized navigation launch of TBD. Our readers wanted to be able to locate articles quicker and easier so that's our main priority right now.

Photo Courtesy Rue Daily

Among different types of academic writing term papers are classified as those of higher complexity. To accomplish this paper successfully it is necessary to identify the thesis statement, find information to support it and finally summarize the paper providing solution for the problem asserted in your thesis. It is quite complicated task.

Tina Craig + Kelly Cook

Who Are They: Tina Craig and Kelly Cook are the fabulous founders/chief editors of If you’re a connoisseur of all things fashion like we are—this is the place to get all the best information.  Tina and Kelly are some seriously fashionable and business savvy mothers, being pioneers of fashion related social media platforms.


Restorsea: What is the craziest beauty remedy, product or service that you have tried?

Tina: I've tried lots of really crazy treatments and products. Sitting in a pool with tiny fish that nibble off the dead layer of your skin, digital acupuncture needle treatments where your face is punctured by electronic acupuncture needles 2,000 times and eating chicken butts because my grandmother told me it would make me pretty when I grew up. 

Kelly: The ODonna skin treatment uses ground up sea urchin spikes to cut through the surface so that the very powerful ingredients, Ultraquin LC, KojiLac acid, and copper peptides, will penetrate the skin. You leave this mask on all day, so you look like a freak with this yellow paste on. When you wash it off in the evening, the stinging and the abrasion is so severe you will cry. Then comes the aftermath, for 3-5 days, your entire face will peel and your face is flaming red. But once all that is done, you have baby soft skin that is so incredible you will, for a moment, feel that all of it was worth it.


R: What was the inspiration for your website?

T: Our love of bags of course!

K: A lifelong obsession with bags and fashion that needed an outlet before I drove my husband crazy with incessant talk about subjects he cared nothing about.


R: Who are your personal style and/or beauty icons?

T: Tilda Swinton. Whenever I see her in structured Haider Ackermann suits, I want to marry her.

K: I love Jennifer Lopez even though my personal style is totally different; I'm very casual and sporty. I like women who are not afraid to show their personalities.


R: What would you be doing if you weren’t creating content for your site?

T: I'd be creating content and shopping for my friends. I've been curating things for friends since the 3rd grade and telling people what to buy. The blog is just an extension of what I've always done, except now I'm doing it for hundreds of thousands of women (and men!) around the world. 

K: I would pretty much be doing the same thing, the only difference would that none of it would be published. I think what our readers relate to the most is the fact that we are living our lives and sharing the style, fashion and lifestyle we are actually experiencing.

R: What are your favorite magazines or other online publications?

T: Who What Wear, Business of Fashion, Fashionista and, Vanity Fair, Vogue, & Bazaar

K: I love reading gossip sites for the snarky writing and fashion clad celebrities. It is highly entertaining on different levels


R: What are you most looking forward to over the next couple of months?

T: Summer vacation with my son! We have plans for Mexico, Taiwan, China, Hawaii and Europe!

K: We have so many exciting projects in store. We are launching our new site, Snob Essentials, at the end of the month. It will be all of our channels on one aggregated site. The layout and look is amazing and will be the platform for even more exciting things to come.


R: What would your readers be surprised to find out about you?

T: That I'm a total bookworm and homebody (I only go out when I have to attend events or traveling. At home it's movies, videos or legos with my son most weekend nights). I don't watch TV in real time and only watch about once a month to catch up on what my friends tell me I'm missing out on. I much prefer curling up with a good book and a glass of champagne.

K: I am an excellent cook and even though I sound awful, I love to sing.


Photo Courtesy of WWD

Even though she looks like a model herself, Tonya “Carter” Ayer makes her living on the other side of the camera, as a makeup artist at Warren-Tricomi NYC. Better known to us as Patti’s personal go-to gal, we rushed at the chance to nab a few tips.

Restorsea: What are your best DIY beauty secrets you can share?  

Tonya “Carter” Ayer: I think one of the craziest beauty remedies that I have tried would be making a paste from water and aspirin and putting it on a pimple to reduce swelling and redness. Definitely different but it worked. Another, to eliminate hyper pigmentation, dark circles, sun spots or maybe even to cover a tattoo, is to apply either a matte orange lipstick or eye shadow to the area, then apply your favorite full coverage concealer over it. It looks weird at first but it works!

R: What about traditional uses for makeup—what are you’re favorite makeup products right now?

T: My favorite make-up product would have to be my lip exfoliator plumper stick. One side is all natural sugar exfoliator. You just rub your lips together gently and then eat it away or wipe it off, and on the other side you apply lip conditioner plumper that gives you a nice plump, smooth, moisturized and healthy looking lip.

R: If you weren’t a makeup artist, what else do you think you would be doing?

T: I really cant see myself not doing something that I love and that is my passion, but If I wasn't doing makeup, I’d most likely would use my fashion styling expertise and open my own boutique.

R: Give us one last secret; what’s something your clients would be surprised to find out?

T: Probably that I'm going to be 34 years old this summer. A lot of people are shocked when I tell them how old I am.

You sure fooled us!

Photo courtesy of Tonya “Carter” Ayer.

A Natural Way to Ageless Beauty

Chatting With Our Friends: Potter Norma Messing

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 8:00:58 AM America/New_York

Norma Messing, friend of Restorsea and mother of our Board Director Debbie Messing, makes elegant ceramics. Her work ranges from exquisite minimalist pieces (seen above) to wonderful creations of exploding color and gradients. We love the pieces she made for our office and were excited to get to know the woman behind the pottery just a little bit more.  

Restorsea: Every day on our blog Patti gives out her Patti’s Picks, what are some of Norma’s Picks right now?

Norma: The only beauty regimen I’ve ever stuck to is Restorsea and now I swear by their suite of products. Truly this isn’t a commercial, but you know how you go to a high-end cosmetic counter and the saleswoman finds a fatal flaw with your skin that she claims will make you look like the portrait in Dorian Gray's attic unless you purchase her product NOW? Well several months after beginning my Restorsea program I made two such trips, and both those saleswomen gratuitously complimented me on the quality of my skin. For a Woman of a Certain Age that’s high praise, right? I’m addicted to Iyengar yoga for strength and flexibility. Love ethnic food and, if I’m in the mood, enjoy making recipes from the current week’s NYT. Will see anything by Sondheim multiple times (if the Fiasco company’s version of “Into The Woods” comes to NY, run don’t walk).  Ideal weekends are theater, film, and music marathons from my NYC pied-a-terre.

R: Craziest Beauty Remedy You’ve Tried?

N: I don’t follow beauty remedies (after all, where would I start?) but my favorite beauty accessory is an electric face brush that I use with Restorsea’s Reviving Cleanser.

R: How did you become a potter?

N: I started working in clay when my children were younger than my grandchildren are now. It wasn’t love at first feel, but pretty close: the sensation of the material, the mesmerizing spin of the wheel, the physicality (especially learning on kick wheels). Long hiatus for life on the corporate wheel. Then, as I was thinking of next acts, I read an author who recommended selecting an activity after retirement that was ”difficult, with indicia of improvement.” So I retuned to clay. Something hard. Something I will improve in but never control. Something that offers angst and bliss, frequently within the same piece.

R: Where do you find inspiration for your pottery?  

N: I see pottery inspiration everywhere – twisty grape branches look like casserole handles, roof tops that look like lids, jewelry designs that could be models for engraving. Still, mostly my ideas come from the feel of the clay itself. I get enormous pleasure from making pots that are cooked in, served from, eaten out of, held. I like shapes that invite caressing, surfaces that ask to be touched, playfulness that comes from incising and carving, and the occasional frou-frou.

R: Fans of Your Work Would be Surprised to Find Out That…?

N: I have fans? Cool! They might be surprised to know that I’ve never thought of myself as artistic. To me, artists are people who draw or paint or sculpt. I just let the clay speak for itself.

Photo courtesy of Norma Messing.

There is a powerful sense of complexity in the minimal, and that is exactly what downtown fashion designer Maria Cornejo’s work is all about. Her clothing label, Zero + Maria Cornejo, is high on our lists of favorites—because of its effortless feminine styling and refined tailoring—so you can understand how giddy we felt when we heard Maria wanted to speak to us for our blog!

Restorsea: Your background is very international (born in South America, growing up in Europe and now living in NY), how has this affected your design’s point of view?

Maria Cornejo: I always say I design for each part of my life; the colorful pieces for for my Latin side, the blacks are for my New York side and the more sophisticated pieces are for my Parisian side.

R: Speaking of your design, tell us about your experience dressing Michelle Obama!

M: She’s an extraordinary woman and I was just thrilled to have the opportunity to dress her. It was great to get a name check from her in Vogue.

R: And what can we expect in your upcoming s/s ‘14 collection?

M: It’s a special year for us. I’ll leave it at that.

R: Every day on our blog Patti gives out her Patti’s Picks, what are some of Maria’s Picks right now?

M: My Suni boots! They are the perfect in-between weather shoe; I received a Clarisonic brush this winter and its been my go-to beauty product of late; I walk across the Brooklyn Bridge in the morning on my way to work (it helps clear my head during the design process); I just saw the Nada exhibit for Frieze which was great and I like to ride my bike on the weekend, especially along the Brooklyn Promenade.

R: Fans of your label would be surprised to find out that…?

M: I’m funny! Sometimes I look very serious in pictures but most people would describe me as lighthearted.

Merci Maria! Mark us down for a shopping and joke-telling appointment soon!

Photo courtesy of T Magazine

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